curry favor

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Originally from a French poem Roman de Fauvel, written in the early 1300s; Fauvel was a conniving stallion, and the play was a satire on the corruption of social life. The name Fauvel points to the French fauve ('chestnut, reddish-yellow, or fawn'), another sense of fauve meaning the class of wild animals whose coats are at least partly brown, and the medieval belief that a fallow horse was a symbol of deceit and dishonesty. The phrase curry Fauvel, then, referred to currying (or combing) the horse, and was turned by later speakers into curry favor.


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curry favor

  1. (idiomatic) To seek to gain favor by flattery or attention.
    • 2019 May 5, Danette Chavez, “Campaigns are waged on and off the Game Of Thrones battlefield (newbies)”, in The A.V. Club[1]:
      Unlike Sansa, Daenerys can’t rely on her family name to curry favor; unlike Jon or even Arya, she can’t regale the Northerners with tales of exploits, though that’s probably for the best when it comes to her “liberating” Yunkai and Meereen